Tuesday, May 13, 2014

The Vineyard House: Dreams of Wealth, Part ll

The Ghostly Activity

This mansion that once was the center for California’s Gold Rush social elite was used for the next sixty-two years as a restaurant and boarding house.

Vineyard House built in 1878
Tenants during this time often complained of mysterious voices and phantom footsteps that thumped throughout the mansion at night when everything was quiet.

One border left the house in the middle of the night so frightened he refused to say what he had seen.

Many attributed this activity to the ghost of Robert Chalmer, the original owner--it was felt his restless spirit still resided within the mansion.

Other tenants reported hearing grunts, rustling skirts, metallic bangs, and heavy breathing. One couple complained of being woken up by noisy guests entering the front door and walking up the stairs.

When they went to shush these revelers they saw three men dressed in Victorian clothing vanish right in front of them.

Renovated Mansion

In 1975 a successful restaurateur bought the mansion. He proceeded to restore the home to its original glory. He had the paint stripped from the walls, floors, and banisters so the original wood could be showcased.

He carefully picked out the colors for the new wallpaper, paint, and other accessories. But each time these items were delivered, he found they were all the wrong colors. This continued for quite a while until one day he looked in an old scrapbook.

He realized the colors that had arrived were the colors of the original mansion. Some otherworldly presence was taking a hand in his renovations.

Items in the mansion started to be misplaced and then were found later in unlikely places--this happened with bud vases, dishes and cups.

A pub was built in the basement near where Robert’s cell once was. Many patrons and barkeeps felt that since Robert did not drink while alive, he now frowned upon the fact liquor was being served.

Cups that hung from nails in the wall that were reached for moved inexplicably. One cup would shake and bang against the others, or all of them would rattle against the wall.

Shot glasses that were placed on the bar were often found turned upside-down when the bartender turned back to fill them with liquor. At other times they would slide on their own across the bar.

This activity became so pronounced the new owner shut the house down. Today it stands empty.

Check out The Vineyard House: Dreams of Wealth and Loss, Part l where I talk about the two friends who married the same woman.

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